It’s Fresh Start Monday! And we’re starting with this quinoa summer salad.
This was amazing! I made this for company and there was nothing left. I could eat this every day. The Magic Green Sauce was out of this world!!!
At the risk of sounding annoyingly excited about a Monday morning, I have to say – I love a good fresh start. Especially after weekend eating that includes sushi takeout with an emphasis on the shrimp tempura rolls, BBQ eatings from a friend’s wedding, and a smorgasbord of good ol’ potluck food including this SLOW COOKED MEXICAN GRILLED CORN DIP from my friend Steph at our Sunday dinner club party yesterday. Seriously whenever I say “dinner club” I feel like I’m 80. And seriously I ate a plateful of that cold leftover corn dip after everyone left last night. Judge or join. It’s up to you.
We know how to food-party on the weekend – no doubt about it. But the weekend is over and it’s Fresh Start Monday.
You know the feeling when you’ve had such a good (bad) eating weekend that you’re actually looking forward to a big bowl of salad? Yes, you and I both know. That’s why this salad exists. It was created to satisfy the Fresh Start Monday craving for anyone, anywhere, who might also have a personal rule about only eating salads that taste amazing. Repeat: Must. Taste. Amazing.
This salad is 1) easy, 2) delicious and filling, like only the best salads are, and 3) HEALTHY in a number of ways.
The ways in which it is healthy for your Fresh Start Monday:
- Quinoa = protein. ✔️ Bjork is on a major protein kick right now so we’re looking to find ways to eat the same food that (for me) might not need much meat. I get lazy, you know? Quinoa is the perfect balancer for us – he gets his protein, I get my easy meatless meals.
- Veggie rainbow! 💙 We love a good veggie rainbow around here – especially when you can create a veggie rainbow with, um, two ingredients: spinach and those very adorable tricolor cherry tomatoes. Except are they cherry tomatoes or grape tomatoes? or something else? All I know is they sell big boxes of them at Costco and they are a summertime must.
- Vegan potential. ⭐️ That’s right, there is the potential to make this salad completely plant-based. Use the Magic Green Sauce (thinned a bit with water) for dressing and you’re in vegan business.
- CHEESE potential. 👌 Because honestly, there are times when you just can’t say no to those little fresh Mozzarella balls. Let’s set realistic expectations here.
- Reduces stress. 🌀 To make this salad, you’ll have to lift approximately three fingers for about five seconds. Get your zen on! Time to kick stressful salad-making to the curb.
- Happy face! 👻 You know those days when everything is going NOT right and you remember your most awesome lunch waiting for you in the fridge and you suddenly get a rush of happy brain chemicals? That’s this salad. Happy = healthy.
Real quick – the dressing situation.
Magic Green Sauce works great! 👇
And (surprise) so does the Avocado Cilantro Dressing! 👇
You can add or swap just about anything to this summer salad and it’s going to be great. Trust me because I’ve added every possible thing that I could have ever found in the fridge – pickled onions, crushed almonds, fresh sweet corn, sriracha, beans, leftover grilled brats, more veggies…
With a simple simple simple base of spinach, tricolor tomatoes, and quinoa, there’s nothing you can’t do.
(we’re chanting now) Fresh Start Mon-Day! Fresh Start Mon-Day! Fresh Start Mon-Day!Print
Green Goddess Quinoa Summer Salad
- Total Time: 20 minutes
- Yield: 4-6 1x
Green Goddess Quinoa Summer Salad – simple, healthy, and extremely adaptable to whatever veggies you have on hand! my family LOVES this recipe. vegetarian and can be made vegan.
- 2 cups cooked quinoa (I cook mine in the rice cooker with broth)
- 2 cups halved cherry tomatoes
- 2 cups spinach leaves
- 1/2 cup (or more, to taste) Magic Green Sauce or Avocado Cilantro Dressing
- fresh Mozzarella cheese, cut into bite sized pieces
- a few handfuls of crushed almonds or other nuts
- grilled veggies like asparagus or zucchini
- grilled chicken or other protein
- Cook the quinoa in advance if you can – it tastes best when it’s had a few hours to cool.
- Toss all ingredients together to combine! If the Magic Green Sauce is too thick to toss together with the other ingredients, just add a little water or oil to the bowl and it should toss together smoothly.
I cook my quinoa in vegetable broth for more flavor, and I also cook twice the amount of quinoa I need for this recipe because I like to keep it in the fridge for the week!
- Prep Time: 10 mins
- Cook Time: 10 mins
- Category: Lunch
- Cuisine: American
Keywords: quinoa salad, healthy salad, salad recipe, summer salad, veggie salad
PS. In case you should think that this salad is only for people who like healthy food, I want you to know that we made this about five hundred times at the cabin this year when everyone from my 1-year-old nephew to my 13-year-old brother to my parents and even my grandparents joined the quinoa salad party. 🎉
One More Thing!
This recipe is part of our collection of best healthy gluten-free recipes. Check it out!
This looks delicious. I love every ingredient in this salad. I know exactly what you mean about over indulging too much on the weekends and looking forward to a salad to start your Monday off right!
We’re on the same page Emily! 🙂
Weekends are meant for treats 🙂 that’s what I think anyway!
I like to get back into the swing of things on a Monday though and this looks perfect for it, especially as the sun is actually out right now here in England. Rare occasion!
Jealous! it’s cooold here! I don’t know what happened but I had the heat on in the car this morning!
Great salad recipe! We love your avocado cilantro dressing so much! Yum!
Yay! love hearing that – thanks! 🙂
You definitely didn’t sacrifice any flavor here, this salad is bursting with scrumptious combinations! Bad eating weekend, yup. Too many state fairs, too much BBQ, mac n cheese and deep fried everything including gummy worms and oreo’s. Bad!
haha – state fair is coming to MN soon! I can’t wait! In the meantime, I’ll load up on salad!
That looks healthy and amazing. I’ve gotta try. That dressing looks perfect!
Thanks Melanie! Hope you like it!
I had a salad last night for dinner and it tasted like the best thing in the world. I love the bright green colors in this dish!
Thanks Nicole! 😀
I know exactly what you mean by a good (bad) weekend of eating. My body just craves a huge salad after overindulging. This one looks like it would fit the bill. Yum!!
Agreed Chelsea! Thanks for the comment!
This salad looks great!
For some reason, with every post that you use emojis like every 5th emoji shows up as a broken link or as a square box. Not sure if it’s my browser (chrome), but it happens nearly every post and I thought you guys might like a heads up that it’s an issue.
Thanks for the great continuing content!
Weird, thanks for letting me know! I wonder if it’s a certain emoji? Maybe the skin tone ones? I know those can get a little weird sometimes. If you feel like being really awesome you could take a screen shot and send it to me 🙂 lindsay @ pinchofyum.com
Yum! This looks beyond amazing!!! <3
Thanks Anna! 🙂
This sounds so delicious! Which sauce is your favorite with this? The avocado one or the “magic” one? I’ve made your magic sauce before and it was AWESOME!
Ooh, hard to say. Honestly they’re pretty equal in my mind. I’ve probably used the cilantro avocado dressing more frequently with this, because that’s what we had at the cabin and I just kept tossing everything with that dressing. 🙂
Made it with the cilantro one and was VERY pleased with the results. Thank you for responding!!
I needed a good salad to make up for my ice cream and carrot cake indiscretions lately, and this looks beautiful. I love how the tomatoes really pop. Wonderful color!
Thank you Amanda!
Heart you big time. <3 <3 <3
And also, I now have serious needs for this salad in my face.
This salad looks aaaaah-mazing!!
My fresh start Monday just fell on its face, but hey, tomorrow is a new day!! This salad looks incredible!! 😀
every morning is a fresh start for me because i live in a community with college kids who are always up for potlucks and beer pong. how do you say no to that? right? right?
So bright and refreshing…loved the way of presenting. 🙂
I’ve actually never tried quinoa, but I am a major spinach addict. This gives me a good excuse to try your salad. Thanks for sharing!
I bet you’ll love it, Sandra! Give it a try! 🙂
Dang it…and I thought I was doing good with just eating a salad today that was topped with steak, every berry imaginable and avocado…with Parmesan cheese -_- ….Welllll at least I got the green part right HA.
I’ll do this NEXT Monday 😀
Sounds like a good salad! 😉 Hope you enjoy this one!
What varieties of tomatoes did you use? Did you grow them yourself? This is a beautiful dish!
Hi, Erika! Lindsay actually bought a large container of these multi-colored cherry tomatoes at CostCo!
This looks fantastic! I can’t wait to try this. Would you be able to add the nutritional information?
Hi, Michela! Here is the link for the program Lindsay uses to figure out the nutrition facts: https://www.verywellfit.com/recipe-nutrition-analyzer-4157076. Hope that helps! 🙂
Summer salad perfection! Can’t wait to try this. I think I have nearly all the ingredients on hand!
Enjoy, Rachel! 🙂
Awesome salad. I’m not really a Mondays person, but a gorgeously green salad like this can cheer up anyone on Mondays.
I made this recipe last night and used some leftovers from my fridge including shredded chicken and spiralized zucchini. I also substituted the pistachios in the Green Goddess dressing for cashews, since I recently made your Cashew Cream Sauce (omg so good I want it on everything!) and had leftover cashews. A++!! This was divine! I will definitely be doing this again! Thank you for sharing your delicious recipes and accompanying them with such a joyful blog and stunning photography!
Awesome, Michelle! Glad you liked it!
Yummy, this looks tasty! Gives me some ideas for what to do with the annoyingly large bag of quinoa I have in my pantry tucked away.
This is a perfect way to use it up! 🙂
I’ll take some happy brain chemicals please!! I always feel that way about lentil soup, but I don’t have that in an easy summer dish. Now I do! Beautiful…